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The ThinkPad Takes On The MacBook Air

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the battle-for-the-skies dept.

Portables 433

An anonymous reader writes "Walt Mossberg has an early look at the ThinkPad X300, Lenovo's answer to the MacBook Air. He says the ThinkPad is almost as skinny and light as the Air, but has many of the ports and features lacking on Apple's machine. The biggest downside: it costs much more and will be limited to a paltry 64 gigabytes of storage. 'Unlike the Apple, which can be ordered with a higher-capacity, lower-priced hard disk, the new ThinkPad will only be available with the expensive, limited capacity solid-state drive. So it will start at between $2,500 and $2,800-up to $1,000 more than the Apple's base price.'"

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433 comments

Design (0, Troll)

Scutter (18425) | more than 6 years ago | (#22418986)

And yet, somehow it's still just as ugly as every other Thinkpad.

I disagree, the Thinkpad is beautiful. (5, Funny)

FatSean (18753) | more than 6 years ago | (#22419042)

In a few years, when we look back at the Apple designs which have become tacky and dated, the Thinkpad still looks elegant and clean.

Re:I disagree, the Thinkpad is beautiful. (-1, Redundant)

Genevish (93570) | more than 6 years ago | (#22419056)

Are you trying to get modded as funny?

Square is Sexy. (1, Insightful)

FatSean (18753) | more than 6 years ago | (#22419082)

Boxy is Beautiful. If you want over-styled machines with a sluggish UI, be my guest. I prefer more a more clean and less cluttered experience.

Re:Square is Sexy. (2, Funny)

IBBoard (1128019) | more than 6 years ago | (#22419242)

I take it you wipe XP/Vista fairly quickly if you want a cleaner and less cluttered experience, then ;)

You know it. (0, Troll)

FatSean (18753) | more than 6 years ago | (#22419264)

W2K stripped down lets me play the few games I enjoy, run eclipse, and waste time on the internet. Plus, I can re-install as often as I like. Someday I'll move to Linux...probably when I can run the latest Civilization game on it.

Good luck getting drivers (1)

Vidar Leathershod (41663) | more than 6 years ago | (#22419540)

It's become a pain in the rear to find proper drivers for W2K, I dunno, maybe Lenovo provides 2K drivers for their ultra-portables. I can't be bothered to look. But for most vendors, no drivers exist and the XP drivers either don't install or don't work properly.

Re:Square is Sexy. (2, Insightful)

somersault (912633) | more than 6 years ago | (#22419598)

Boxy is Beautiful. If you want over-styled machines with a sluggish UI, be my guest. I prefer more a more clean and less cluttered experience.
Yeah but we're not talking about Vista here, we're talking about Mac OS? ;)

I have a Macbook Pro and the interface for MacOS is much cleaner than XP and Vista. I have a dual boot into XP Pro for happier integration into the domain at work, but at home I'm starting to use Mac OS more and more. I like having a proper UNIX derived terminal, and it's great for stuff like watching movies as I can get from being powered down, to the desktop far quicker in MacOS. When it comes to actually viewing media, frontrow is a much more pleasant experience than Windows Media Player - not saying much really, but it is a good interface, especially when combined with the little remote that you get with Macbooks. If you're wondering why I don't just use my DVD player it's because it's set to the UK region code, and the anime that I'm mostly watching at the moment is region-whateverthehecktheUScodeis :p

I agree that boxy is beautiful when it comes to stuff like car design (old Audis, old Toyota MR2, and the Mistubishi Lancer Evo VI come to mind), but not so much for gadgets.

Re:I disagree, the Thinkpad is beautiful. (2, Insightful)

Calinous (985536) | more than 6 years ago | (#22419102)

Like every old Apple design which is now tacky and dated...

Re:I disagree, the Thinkpad is beautiful. (5, Insightful)

Kickersny.com (913902) | more than 6 years ago | (#22419182)

Case [imageshack.us] in [life-electronic.net] point. [apple.com]

Re:I disagree, the Thinkpad is beautiful. (4, Funny)

techpawn (969834) | more than 6 years ago | (#22419240)

I loved the idea handle on the iMac!

Gave you a good position to throw the thing from when you realized there was no floppy drive...

Re:I disagree, the Thinkpad is beautiful. (1)

jacoby (3149) | more than 6 years ago | (#22419344)

I haven't used a floppy since well before the advent of the iMac.

Re:I disagree, the Thinkpad is beautiful. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22419424)

I'm posting on Slashdot in the middle of the day (UK). I've never used mine.

Re:I disagree, the Thinkpad is beautiful. (1)

Mr.Dippy (613292) | more than 6 years ago | (#22419524)

You still use floppy discs? I'm jealous. All of my files that I need to transport are well over 1.44 MB. It must be nice not having to deal with large files.

Re:I disagree, the Thinkpad is beautiful. (0, Offtopic)

techpawn (969834) | more than 6 years ago | (#22419656)

You still use floppy discs?
At the time of the iMac floppies where still going strong, and if I remember right the optical wasn't a burner either (at least on the base model). So, you really couldn't take data OFF it in a removable/rewriteable format.

FDISK and small utilities I still use floppies for because I'll have booted the machine with a boot/run Linux CD like InsertLinux, but there are some utilities that my disk doesn't have. Anything else I need for moving data it's generally flash memory sticks FTW unless it's across a network...

Re:I disagree, the Thinkpad is beautiful. (1)

darjen (879890) | more than 6 years ago | (#22419244)

Now those designs are truly ugly. Actually, I thought they were back when they came out too.

Re:I disagree, the Thinkpad is beautiful. (3, Interesting)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 6 years ago | (#22419298)

Well I think thinkpads look sleek now, and even the ancient 3-inch-think thinkpads, which have identical styling look great too. They're solid, performance, business laptops, not balance-on-your-knee make-a-home-video mac commercial laptops.

Re:I disagree, the Thinkpad is beautiful. (4, Insightful)

darjen (879890) | more than 6 years ago | (#22419370)

I am a complete Thinkpad convert after using them for work exclusively for a year and a half. I used to think Thinkpad's design was ugly myself, but they really grew on me. My personal Asus notebook has pretty glossy coating which is very worn now, and looks like crap. The Thinkpads look much less worn after years of use.

Re:I disagree, the Thinkpad is beautiful. (1)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 6 years ago | (#22419546)

I always loved the way thinkpads look. The sliver-painted plastic look on most other laptops is just painful on the eyes, and glossy screens are good for absolutely nothing except more glare. Thinkpad is where it's at

Re:I disagree, the Thinkpad is beautiful. (1, Insightful)

Otter (3800) | more than 6 years ago | (#22419534)

They're solid, performance, business laptops, not balance-on-your-knee make-a-home-video mac commercial laptops.

Maybe your business doesn't involve travel, but balance-on-your-knee usability is precisely what many of us demand of a business laptop. And, even more so, balance-on-your-coach-section-tray-table usability, where Macs particularly shine over the space-inefficient lid hinges on Thinkpads. (At least the older Thinkpads I've worked with. I have no idea about this model.)

Re:I disagree, the Thinkpad is beautiful. (1)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 6 years ago | (#22419740)

Space-inefficient hinges? The T60 at least just has 2 small metal hinges entirely inset within the width of the lid.

Re:I disagree, the Thinkpad is beautiful. (0, Troll)

SuperStretchy (1018064) | more than 6 years ago | (#22419790)

You're leaving out the "-that-no-one-cares-to-watch" on the end of the "make-a-home-video"

Re:I disagree, the Thinkpad is beautiful. (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 6 years ago | (#22419200)

Most are, the Mac Classic, the CRT imac, etc. In fact looking back the only Apple products that stick out to me as big design wins are the G5 tower, the cube, the lcd imac, and the ipod. Not that IBM/Lenovo is going to win any artistic design awards but they are great functional designs that last forever, kind of like a good pickup truck.

Re:I disagree, the Thinkpad is beautiful. (1)

teh kurisu (701097) | more than 6 years ago | (#22419496)

the lcd imac

The iMac G4 'sunflower' model? I really liked that design. Not so much the G5 and onwards iMacs (although the latest black and aluminium ones don't look quite so bad.

Re:I disagree, the Thinkpad is beautiful. (1)

Carewolf (581105) | more than 6 years ago | (#22419436)

Like every old Apple design which is now tacky and dated...


Yes, exactly like those.

Did you have a point?

Re:I disagree, the Thinkpad is beautiful. (1)

Calinous (985536) | more than 6 years ago | (#22419564)

Yes, I find the CRT-monitor iMacs looking nice. The round mouse is horrible (iMac mouse).
      I found the Mac laptop nice (certainly, for a woman or child's computer).

It's the very old designs I don't favour - the Mac Classic II, Color Classic

Re:I disagree, the Thinkpad is beautiful. (4, Insightful)

dekemoose (699264) | more than 6 years ago | (#22419432)

Oh for mod points! Nothing is more beautiful in my eyes than a machine which does it's job well day after day. It's simple, it's rugged, it's the best laptop series that was ever produced. This all goes for the IBM ThinkPad line as I have not had an actual Lenovo machine yet, hopefully they haven't mucked it up.

Re:I disagree, the Thinkpad is beautiful. (1)

lemon_dieter (949624) | more than 6 years ago | (#22419812)

IBM designs and specifies everything that goes into the Thinkpads. Lenovo only manufactures them. I have an IBM T40 which doesn't see much use any longer as I have replaced it with a Lenovo branded T61p. The T61p is miles ahead of many laptops on the market today, as was the T40. I did happen to switch the old T40 on the other day to do some searching for a file that I stupidly did not back up onto my usb hard drive. I am still amazed that the laptop had still been on it's original format, never had XP reinstalled, never had any problems at all with the IBM maintenance software. It will probably continue to be supported by that maintenance software for another decade. IBM is serious about their brand-name on manufactured goods. They want the quality to be unsurpassed, and they have done a fine job of it since day one of their operations in this market. Lenovo does manufacture their own line of laptops, which I am unsure of the design, but am pretty confident that the build quality is solid.

Re:Design (1)

Dancindan84 (1056246) | more than 6 years ago | (#22419372)

I think of a laptop is a tool, so aesthetics really aren't something I care about. The Thinkpad is solid and rugged. I'll take that over pretty any day.

Re:Design (1)

Corporate Troll (537873) | more than 6 years ago | (#22419514)

I think of a laptop is a tool, so aesthetics really aren't something I care about.
Let me guess: you aren't married? ;-)

Re:Design (1)

Dancindan84 (1056246) | more than 6 years ago | (#22419544)

Actually I just got married in July. I'm a colorblind programmer/analyst and my wife's a grade school teacher. I'll give you 1 guess which one of us looks after the aesthetic stuff. :-)

Re:Design (1)

Corporate Troll (537873) | more than 6 years ago | (#22419636)

Pretty much the same situation for me (except that I'm not colorblind and she is a kindergarten teacher).... Go and try buy something technical with her and see how far you get until it hits "it's ugly" or "so many cables" mantra. I've only been married since July 2005 and I am fully aware of the Wife Acceptance Factor [wikipedia.org].

Of course, a laptop will not be in permanent visual range of your wife, so it may have a lower WAF, as long as you store it in a pretty bag. ;-) Anything from Gucci, Longchamp, or Louis Vuitton will probably do. ;-)

Re:Design (1)

Dancindan84 (1056246) | more than 6 years ago | (#22419842)

Ouch, you have to take your wife to get technical stuff? I run into that buying cars, but technical stuff is all me. She gets to pick the drapes/sheets etc without my input, I get to do the computers without her's. It's a mutually beneficial arrangement.

Re:Design (1)

mgblst (80109) | more than 6 years ago | (#22419380)

Or, as beautiful as every other thinkpad, depending on your taste.

Personally, you can take those grey shells that Dell, Toshiba and Sony pump out and shove them - they have never had any design done on them at all, clearly.

ThinkPads have always been expsensive (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#22419022)

And they probably will continue to be.

Re:ThinkPads have always been expsensive (2, Insightful)

Lally Singh (3427) | more than 6 years ago | (#22419252)

There's a certain price range for a laptop of certain build quality. I can't speak to the current Lenovos --- haven't used them. But, I remember some of the older ones being built like tanks. I'd put their build quality up there as high as the old HP calculators.

The Pro line of apple laptops has been about the same, too (that's what I use). I wouldn't dream of taking the sub-$1000 boxes around with me all day. On the PC line, it'd be a good thinkpad or a well-built toshiba.

Maybe I'm just old and prejudiced on this. The cheap laptops I've seen out of dell make me afraid to relax my hands on them: they'd literally creak.

But, that all does really depend on how you use the machine. If it's mostly a desktop, I'm sure that the ~$500 boxes are fine for daily use.

Re:ThinkPads have always been expsensive (4, Insightful)

slaker (53818) | more than 6 years ago | (#22419442)

There is no such thing as a well built Toshiba. There probably were some 10 or 15 years ago, but Toshiba is a company that, like Sony, trades on its name in place of any actual quality. Not that I'm bitter about the shitty laptops I have to support.
However, speaking to the quality of current Thinkpads... my cat managed to knock my T61 off my desk a couple weeks ago. It fell four feet or so on to a hardwood floor.
There's a ding on the floor. My Thinkpad is fine.

Re:ThinkPads have always been expsensive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22419410)

The premium price used to buy a fairly robust machine; somewhat more durable than the competition. As they get smaller and lighter, the durability factor has become questionable.

Mossberg has seen it... (3, Interesting)

wild_berry (448019) | more than 6 years ago | (#22419032)

Walt's seen the thing -- but not tested it. The biggest let down with the MacBook Air was its battery life (and then Remote Disk). Does this ThinkPad have decent battery life? And is it as sturdy as we expect Thinkpads to be?

Re:Mossberg has seen it... (1)

owlman17 (871857) | more than 6 years ago | (#22419096)

Speaking of sturdy, are the Lenovo Thinkpads sturdy as their IBM counterparts? We owned a couple of IBM Thinkpads in the mid 90s and I'm planning to get a new one now. So far I only have anecdotal evidence that goes both ways.

Re:Mossberg has seen it... (4, Informative)

Renegade Lisp (315687) | more than 6 years ago | (#22419168)

I think only a Slashdot Poll could answer this definitely.

Further anecdotal evidence, though: I've had a Lenovo T61 now for about two months, after having had a Pre-Lenovo T40 for more than four years, which had been my sturdiest Thinkpad up to that time. So far, I see no difference in the build quality of both machines, but only time will really tell.

Re:Mossberg has seen it... (1)

Carewolf (581105) | more than 6 years ago | (#22419470)

More or less. And the new R61 series are now also built as sturdy as the T models, only difference being size and weight (you pay 50% extra for a T-model which is a ½kg lighter and 0.5cm thinner).

Re:Mossberg has seen it... (1)

Frantix (1043000) | more than 6 years ago | (#22419696)

I've been completely happy with my company issued T61. I'm not excessively hard on laptops but they get banged around and used a lot at home. Overall I think they're very nice laptops. My previous T42 was equally durable. To be honest, I never thought I'd sing praises of an IBM product but after being away from them many years I wish I would have picked one of them up instead of the HP that I bought.

Re:Mossberg has seen it... (1)

darthflo (1095225) | more than 6 years ago | (#22419848)

Mostly. I seem to recall my T41 being a bit more sturdy than the T60 (which is still better than the X21). Also, the X61t's build quality is awesome with a few flaws; after some high drops onto stone floor the battery's bent a bit and the display hinge cut a few millimeters into the palm rest. Apart from the display not properly "clicking" to locked anymore, it works like a charm.

Re:Mossberg has seen it... (1)

The Second Horseman (121958) | more than 6 years ago | (#22419332)

It should be. Other recent Lenovo Thinkpads or tablets have been fine. We've bought a bunch. And don't forget the Thinkpad has an easily-replaceable battery, and there's an option to put a second battery in the unit, in place of the optical drive, I think (that might've changed - I saw the details in a briefing last November / December).

Too bad these SSHD aren't really worth it (2, Interesting)

the_humeister (922869) | more than 6 years ago | (#22419044)

At least that's what the people over at ars [arstechnica.com] say

Re:Too bad these SSHD aren't really worth it (4, Insightful)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 6 years ago | (#22419172)

Ars only tests the speed of those.
They don't test how much physical abuse the SSHD can take compared to the HDD.
Which is basically the main reason for wanting SSHD; making sure data survives.

apple fanbois (-1, Troll)

hjf (703092) | more than 6 years ago | (#22419052)

DISCLAIMER:

This Slashdot comments page will be full with nonsense plain old Apple Fanboiism criticizing every aspect of the computer, ranging from the fact that it's not as thin/pretty/cool/whatever as the Macbook Air, to the fact that it's simply not an Apple product, and thus, not worth anything.

Please remember to just laugh at these comments, and by all means, avoid feeding the trols.

Thank you.

Re:apple fanbois (1)

hjf (703092) | more than 6 years ago | (#22419064)

avoid feeding the trolls! (Disclaimer: I'm using an Apple Wireless Keyboard).

Re:apple fanbois (5, Funny)

Genevish (93570) | more than 6 years ago | (#22419116)

DISCLAIMER: This Slashdot comments page will also be filled with Apple haters who can't spell and who will blindly reject any argument that appears to be in favor of Apple products. Please remember to contribute to your local home for the mentally disabled. Thank you.

The thinkpad pretty much spanks the Air (5, Informative)

Clockwurk (577966) | more than 6 years ago | (#22419072)

The price for an Air with SSD is $3100. The thinkpad also has a nicer display (1440x900 vs 1280x800), removable battery, a faster processor (2.0ghz vs 1.8ghz), and weighs less (2.5lbs vs 3lbs), more ports (ethernet, usb), better speakers (LOL Airbook has mono), a microphone, and a built in DVD burner.

Re:The thinkpad pretty much spanks the Air (2, Informative)

Calinous (985536) | more than 6 years ago | (#22419130)

The Thinkpad X300 comes at 3.15 or so lbs (granted, it includes an optical drive)

Re:The thinkpad pretty much spanks the Air (1)

Otter (3800) | more than 6 years ago | (#22419398)

These "with the standard battery and DVD drive" weights don't include the power supply, right? I don't know about new Thinkpad models, but back when I had a work-issued T40 the power supply was extremely heavy, and the real weight when carrying it through an airport was much higher than for my Mac, even though the two specced out roughly equal on paper.

And that's not just Mac fanboyism, as the Dell I have now also has a much lighter power supply than the T40, although still bulkier, heavier and far uglier than my old TiBook's.

Re:The thinkpad pretty much spanks the Air (4, Informative)

costas (38724) | more than 6 years ago | (#22419640)

Well, Lenovo just released this [engadget.com], which looks very nice to this road warrior...

Re:The thinkpad pretty much spanks the Air (4, Interesting)

bkr1_2k (237627) | more than 6 years ago | (#22419154)

There really isn't much point in "comparing" these two machines, they're so different. Seriously, the comparison that the Thinkpad is nearly $1k more than the Apple is ridiculous when you consider the extra functionality of just the DVD alone. I don't think most people use more than one USB port, but having a wired E-net and removable battery make the cost difference worth it, if you're in the market for a light machine.

I have Macs at home, but you have to recognize that the Air may be pretty, but it's sorely lacking in features that many people consider necessary these days.

Re:The thinkpad pretty much spanks the Air (1)

(H)elix1 (231155) | more than 6 years ago | (#22419502)

I disagree - that was apples to app ^H^H^H - a fair comparison. Both were priced with a $1000 SSD drive. Apple gives you the option for a 80GB 4200-rpm Parallel ATA hard disk drive to cut a grand off the price. According to this guy, the SSD drive will be the only option at launch with other options to follow. When they do offer drive options - and they must - I bet they will be SATA based drives like the rest of the Thinkpad series (all of them). Price will drop a grand as well when spinning disk is substituted for solid state.

Additionally, there is a very good chance that the DVD bay is removable, and can be replaced with another 2.5" large capacity HDD.

The options they are packing into the x300 are exactly what I was hoping the mac air ultra portable would have. When they start shipping without SSD's, I'm sure IT will have one waiting for me - with an extra battery back and HDD tray.

Re:The thinkpad pretty much spanks the Air (5, Interesting)

pebs (654334) | more than 6 years ago | (#22419680)

Apple's notebooks are also lacking a trackpoint-like mouse. I personally can't stand touchpads, even the ones on Apple's notebooks. The trackpoint is a much better input device when done right, and the ones on the Thinkpads work quite well.

My current notebook is an old Thinkpad T23 that only has a trackpoint and no touchpad. Although I really like OS X (own both a Mac Pro and Mac Mini) and really want a mobility for some of the apps I use on it, this seemingly small issue is enough to make me unsure about whether my next notebook will be a MacBook or a Thinkpad. It's a big issue to me, an analogy would be the touch screen keyboard on the iPhone being a reason people don't want it over a phone with a real QWERTY keyboard.

A used Thinkpad X-series is likely to be next laptop purchase (I bought the T23 used). And I would be running Linux on it of course, which I enjoy more than OS X anyway, but the few video and audio apps I use on OS X make a Mac possibly more useful to me. So I haven't really made a decision.

Re:The thinkpad pretty much spanks the Air (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22419166)

The price for an Air with SSD is $3100. The thinkpad also has a nicer display (1440x900 vs 1280x800), removable battery, a faster processor (2.0ghz vs 1.8ghz), and weighs less (2.5lbs vs 3lbs), more ports (ethernet, usb), better speakers (LOL Airbook has mono), a microphone, and a built in DVD burner.


Sure, but does it come with a distortion field?

Re:The thinkpad pretty much spanks the Air (3, Interesting)

Saint Fnordius (456567) | more than 6 years ago | (#22419416)

The issues I do not see addressed when comparing these two notebook computers are not many, but they do play a role:

Case design: which case is more robust? Is Apple's metal case better suited for a thin notebook or is Lenovo's ThinkPad design better suited for fitting in your briefcase? Oh, and what about the power brick? Those few minutes untangling a power cord when setting up for a long meeting can be important. Design means not only looks, but also workflow and durability of the components.

Apropos meetings: which of the two is easier to use to make a presentation with a strange beamer? How about logging into a free WiFi hotspot? Sharing files?

Workflow: which job type would benefit from which computer? Although reporters and writers seem to be the target of both computers, what about sales reps? Developers and support techs who go to their clients? If your company uses Lotus Domino servers, will the MacBook Air make your IT staff nervous?

Now, I really don't know the answers, but these questions are what I feel makes the decision important. I own both a PowerBook and a ThinkPad, and though the ThinkPad is newer and has a better screen, etc., I still prefer to work with the PowerBook. It simply fits my workflow better.

Re:The thinkpad pretty much spanks the Air (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22419708)

"Those few minutes untangling a power cord when setting up for a long meeting can be important."

I hope not. I'd shoot myself in the face before I let this become true.

Seriously, if the 30 seconds it takes to untangle a cord (if it takes you minutes, you need to have you motor skills checked) matters, your life isn't worth living.

Re:The thinkpad pretty much spanks the Air (1)

blackchiney (556583) | more than 6 years ago | (#22419486)

Display I can agree with, the removable battery: most people by ultralights so they don't have to schlep around another battery, you did lose me on the processor seeing as the Lenovo has 1.2GHz ULV Core Duo versus the Airs 1.8GHz. it also weighs slightly more, and laptop speakers are a shame no matter where you put them. The air has a microphone 2 in fact, right there next to the camera.

Re:The thinkpad pretty much spanks the Air (3, Insightful)

eldepeche (854916) | more than 6 years ago | (#22419630)

No wireless, less space than a Nomad.

When are you guys going to realize that most people care about more than a spec sheet? I think the Air sucks too, but it's for wealthy non-technical people to check their e-mail on the couch. If it was for real work, then they would have put a better battery in it, and it would have been heavier and bigger, and then it would just be a really expensive MacBook.

But There's No Illusion of Thin (5, Interesting)

dsginter (104154) | more than 6 years ago | (#22419090)

The problem with the Thinkpad is that it doesn't taper at the edges (not that this helps anything except for aesthetics). Apple really created an illusion of thin when they adopted this design (the Air is only like an eighth of an inch thinner that the MacBook but it looks *much* thinner because of the taper).

Apple really pulled off a magic trick with the Air. Marketing genius.

Re:But There's No Illusion of Thin (1)

darjen (879890) | more than 6 years ago | (#22419216)

Why is this a problem? I actually prefer Thinkpad's brick design; especially the new one of the T60 which is slightly more rounded than the T43.

Re:But There's No Illusion of Thin (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22419282)

Yes, it's unfortunate that Lenovo is going for functionality over style... such a shame...

Sarcasm aside, I don't think they're geared to the same markets, IBM/Lenovo (the thinkpad brand anyway) has always been geared toward business professionals where functionality and stability is of the utmost importance. Apple's focus has always been on the average user who'd like to have a home setup that looks aesthetically pleasing which is really exemplified in the Macbook Air.

Re:But There's No Illusion of Thin (1)

networkconsultant (1224452) | more than 6 years ago | (#22419434)

Doesn't matter I'm buying neither they are both ultra portable however a 13.3 Dell XPS is a bit thicker may shock me due to construction and only costs about a grand less then either of the two with comparable specifications.

Re:But There's No Illusion of Thin (1)

Dr. Eggman (932300) | more than 6 years ago | (#22419480)

But what I want to know is why is thin even in? I prefer something sturdy, reliable, and preferably with a battery I can change myself. What is it with the obsession with how the thing looks, if it does so at the cost of utility (64 gigabytes on a 2k+ machine, you've got to be joking!) My tastes prefer a higher utility and durability.

Then again, I must disclaim my statements with the following revelations about my tastes in general. I enjoyed Cloverfield and look forward to purchasing the DVD, I liked the Star Wars prequels (especially the sfx and cgi,) and feel the Sonic CD US soundtrack is better than the Japanese Soundtrack.

Re:But There's No Illusion of Thin (1)

eldepeche (854916) | more than 6 years ago | (#22419672)

I agree. I don't understand why there is variation among the preferences of a large number of people with completely different needs and budgets.

Go back to Russia.

Re:But There's No Illusion of Thin (1)

pizzach (1011925) | more than 6 years ago | (#22419512)

Brain storming time! Hm...maybe the tapering makes it easier to clasp the computer with one hand without fear of dropping it? That is the closest to utility that I can think of so far. It does make it a horrible cup holder though because of the slope. I find the round dell button on the top of many laptops works great for that.

When I compared the photo's of Leveno's and Apple's computers, Apple's was the one that just by looking at it, advertised "I'm thin, look at me!!!" which is great advertising. I wouldn't have known that Leveno is going to be competing in this size sector without someone actually stating it. In the end, Leveno's computer looks more like Macbook Pro thin to me. So, what is the difference between a regular macbook which has the extra ports and this Leveno computer? Is the Leveno actually appreciably thinner than a Macbook pro?

Re:But There's No Illusion of Thin (1)

framauro13 (1148721) | more than 6 years ago | (#22419648)

Which is why I've grown against most Apple products after using them. Marketing genius masks the lack of features. The only Apple product I've kept is the iPod Nano w/Nike+, I'll give them credit there; THAT's an innovative system.

Thinkpads have always been good, sturdy, reliable machines. As long as it gets the job done, I can do without a pretty case design.

Apple's niche market (-1, Flamebait)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 6 years ago | (#22419694)

Marketing genius.

Apple markets to a niche market: Gay men, straight women who want everything in pink except the pony that they hope daddy/husband will one day buy them, smug pricks who want to show off their "unique" style by acting like every other I-have-an-Apple-so-I'm-better-than-you-I-don't-even-own-a-TV-indie-music-is-the-ONLY-way-to-go prick in the world, MS-bashers gullible enough to think Apple ISN'T just as greedy and scummy, and graphic artists who want to fit in with the other graphic artists.

Re:But There's No Illusion of Thin (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22419716)

The problem with the Thinkpad is that it doesn't taper at the edges (not that this helps anything except for aesthetics). Apple really created an illusion of thin when they adopted this design (the Air is only like an eighth of an inch thinner that the MacBook but it looks *much* thinner because of the taper).

Apple really pulled off a magic trick with the Air. Marketing genius.


Genius? Hardly. In 1999 I had an IBM thinkpad which did the exact same thing, tapering at the edges to look thinner. It was a great laptop for the time, with built-in ethernet, floppy & CD.

Re:But There's No Illusion of Thin (1)

walter_f (889353) | more than 6 years ago | (#22419732)

"The problem with the Thinkpad is that it doesn't taper at the edges. Apple really created an illusion of thin when they adopted this design..."

As a posting elsewhere on slashdot some days ago put it,
"If the Macbook Air were so thin one could slice tomatoes with it, I wouldn't buy it." ;-)

Critics! (5, Insightful)

iknownuttin (1099999) | more than 6 years ago | (#22419092)

But, unlike the Apple, Lenovo's new skinny ThinkPad comes with a hefty complement of ports and features, some of the very things critics complained Apple left out.

Maybe, Apple knows what its customers want and builds their machines for what most of their customers and not for the critics? And, well looky there, you can configure the machine to include those features. [apple.com] Why does everything have to be built in? And the Thnkpad is making compromises to have those things built in. God!

Not that I'm a fanboy or anything, it's just that these tech "journalists" piss me off sometimes.

Re:Critics! (1)

Calinous (985536) | more than 6 years ago | (#22419162)

Could you install both the network adapter and the DVD drive? You know, without using an USB hub?

Re:Critics! (1)

Constantine XVI (880691) | more than 6 years ago | (#22419644)

And I don't believe you could even do that with a USB hub, because the Air's USB port has more power in it to power the DVD drive, and I doubt most hubs would be able to handle the extra voltage.

Re:Critics! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22419178)

Maybe, Apple knows what its customers want...

Apple customers wanted a USB slot that many of their devices couldn't fit into?

Re:Critics! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22419400)

Why does everything have to be built in?

On an ultra-portable? Hmm... let me think...

That word does not mean what you think it means (4, Insightful)

DragonHawk (21256) | more than 6 years ago | (#22419418)

And, well looky there, you can configure the machine to include those features.

I think you mean "you can configure the box the machine ships in to include those features". Because all those devices are external to the machine.

Generally speaking, it's safe to assume that anyone wanting a super-mobile computer like an Air or this ThinkPad doesn't want to have wires and dongles they have to carry in their bag and/or hanging off the computer. I know with the Dell's we buy at work, the fact that the Latitude D400 series super-mobile only has an external optical drive is often a deal-breaker for the users. They'd rather a bigger/heavier unit that includes everything in one piece.

64 gigabytes of storage - Not so bad (1)

The Analog Kid (565327) | more than 6 years ago | (#22419158)

for a solid state drive, which are very expensive right now. The X300 had as a lot of better features than the Air which outway the smaller drive size. Besides, I assume people who are going to use this are business types who travel a lot. I can't imagine they'll need much more for word files and power point presentations and if they really do then carry an external USB drive with you.

Re:64 gigabytes of storage - Not so bad (1)

The Second Horseman (121958) | more than 6 years ago | (#22419358)

The Lenovo sales guys apparently want a version of this using a standard hard drive - they think it'll appeal to educational customers, among others. Should be interesting to see if they actually do it.

Toshiba makes better laptops than the Air... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22419272)

Toshiba makes some laptops that are lighter, thinner, better battery life, built-in ethernet, and a built-in CD/DVD drive.

How come Toshiba can do this and Apple can't?

Apple has a core group of customers who will buy anything from Apple, even if there are better products available.

Complaints: (4, Insightful)

r_jensen11 (598210) | more than 6 years ago | (#22419284)

Regarding the product:
The thing has a 13" screen and weighs more than 3 pounds. What niche is this trying to target? Other members of the X-series have 12.1" screens, and one of those has a beginning weight of 2.8lbs. I'd imagine the extra inch of screen would be more of an issue than the half-pound, but still.

Must purchase an OEM copy of either XP or Vista. R and T Series Thinkpads are being sold with the option of SuSE Enterprise Desktop 10, so why not the X Series?

Regarding the article:

... and will be limited to a paltry 64 gigabytes of storage.
I'm sorry, but for the applications these laptops are going to be serving, 64GB of internal storage should be plenty. If not, well, there are plenty of external storage needs, whether NAS, thumb/pen drives, or full-fledged external hard drives (which one can choose a "portable" version or a not-so-portable version.)

No mention of a possible entry in the Reserve Series (and with the base price for the "standard" X300, who wouldn't want to pay $5,000 for a laptop!?)

Re:Complaints: (1)

jonnythan (79727) | more than 6 years ago | (#22419720)

The niche that wants a decent-resolution screen (1440x900), full-size keyboard, and built-in DVD drive in a notebook that's less than an inch thin and right about 3 pounds, give or take 2 ounces.

The Macbook Air has no DVD drive. The 12.1" X-series notebooks have no DVD drive and are only 1024x768.

Re:Complaints: (1)

internetcommie (945194) | more than 6 years ago | (#22419758)

Must purchase an OEM copy of either XP or Vista.
Other than that, I see no advantage to the Macbook Air over the X300.
In fact, if I could get one with Linux I would probably already have owned a Thinkpad X-series. They look like a good replacement for my 12" Powerbook.

Interesting Specimen (1)

v(*_*)vvvv (233078) | more than 6 years ago | (#22419292)

I understand its place in the Apple product line, but in general there have been smaller and lighter notebooks on the market for a long time. For its weight, Air doesn't even have an internal DVD drive.

Here is a notebook from 2004 that is only 0.07 inches thicker than MacBook Air, and that is only at the hinge. The rest of the notebook is only 0.39 inches thick:
http://www.vaio.sony.co.jp/Products/PCG-X505CP/parts.html [sony.co.jp]

These guys are kicking themselves in the head right now... If only they flattened the hinge!! (I am sure they could've)

Re:Interesting Specimen (1)

Shados (741919) | more than 6 years ago | (#22419500)

THERE WE GO! My boss (we're a .NET development firm, yet he's anti-microsoft and super pro-Apple... not into Linux either btw) keeps raving about how Apple does everything first (which it sometimes does, but the things he rave about are never anywhere close to new), and this was one I couldn't find a comeback for, even though I KNEW i had seen something like this before...

Well, now I do.

Better Value (1)

John Jamieson (890438) | more than 6 years ago | (#22419300)

FTA - "The biggest downside: it costs much more"
should be rewritten - "the biggest downside: it is not available with a low cost hard disk"

Really, it is about the same price as the Air when configured the same, but the extra ports would be worth and additional $500 to me(and many others), so, I think it is a better value.

"the X300 isn't as skinny or sexy as the Apple" (1)

TransEurope (889206) | more than 6 years ago | (#22419306)

Really? What is sexy? Mature, young, fat, skinny, blond or brunette? Everyone has it's own preferences.

I don't like designer-gadgets. I fo myself like techy looking cyberpunky devices, full with intellingent functions made in high quality. For me is the x300 the sexy one, not the AirBook, which lacks a crude technical design, and much worse, functionality for an geek.

Re:"the X300 isn't as skinny or sexy as the Apple" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22419682)

Right. I bet you 'prefer' fat ugly women to all the more conventionally attractive ones too. I think its got something to do with those grapes.

Re:"the X300 isn't as skinny or sexy as the Apple" (1)

TransEurope (889206) | more than 6 years ago | (#22419722)

Incorrect. I prefer young (age 23-28) brunettes, skinny, small t*ts.

X40 is better (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22419350)

The 13" is too wide, the x40 series is smaller on avg and lighter. The resolution is strange at 1440x900 or whatever, what is with these widescreens nowadays? And who needs a DVD drive, the only reason for it is to install Windows or your OS of choice (most Unices can be installed quicker over a network anyway). And at that price tag, I would go for the X61T which imo is the best laptop out htere period - full SXGA+ resolution on a 12.1" notebook.

Linux Wireless (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22419378)

Not joking here: Does it run linux?
I am mostly concerned about wireless and I can't find out who the manufacturer for the wireless card. I really don't like resorting to ndiswrapper each time to get wireless working. I heard the thinkpads in general have good linux wireless support but the specs (at least the ones leaked a few weeks ago) doesn't seem to confirm it.

Apple != Orange (1)

bidule (173941) | more than 6 years ago | (#22419382)

Except here orange isn't IBM but solid state drive.

So it will start at between $2,500 and $2,800-up to $1,000 more than the Apple's base price-and will be limited to a paltry 64 gigabytes of storage.
... which are the same defects as the SSD-Air.

Mossberg here really shows us here what it takes to be an anal-ist. This kind of trollism is just as bad from the Mac bashers or fanbois. It really takes a double-dose of style-over-substance to pick the non-wallet-gulping version of the MacBook Air. If anyone here is thinking of buying the AirBook, they are certainly thinking about the solid-state version.

PNARD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22419426)

anorexia dong

Paltry storage? (1)

polaris20 (893532) | more than 6 years ago | (#22419820)

I know in this day of 250GB laptop drives people think they need all that space, but come on, "paltry"? With a modest iTunes directory, photos, documents, a couple small VM's, I'm at 33GB used out of my 200GB 7.2K drive. A 64GB drive would be fine for a lot of people, especially the target audience of this laptop. Anyone that's actually an intelligent user (rofl) is moving their stuff over to a RAID equipped server or NAS anyway.
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